Supplier Profile: VIP Polymers

Supplier Profile: VIP Polymers

Lee Jones, Editor of PBM’s sister publication Professional Builder, visits VIP Polymers to chart the manufacturer’s considerable heritage following its centenary celebrations in 2023.

VIP Polymers has called its current Huntingdon manufacturing and distribution site home for 40 years, but the business has much deeper roots in the industry. In fact, 2023 marked the 100th anniversary of its inception as the Victaulic Company, together with a separate rubber making division known as Victaulic Industrial Polymers.

Since then, the pipe seal and gaskets expert has accrued a century of experience in the field, and the result is the extensive VIPSeal range of solutions.

Pipe technology is moving apace, with changes to materials, dimensions and designs. The company provides products for drinking water solutions, as well as the sewer and waste sector, and it is that diversity that demands a range of different materials and technologies, each of which must suit the application and relevant regulations.

At its Cambridgeshire facility, an in-house development and quality department sees the chemists behind the VIPSeal brand utilise the highest quality raw materials in devising new formulas. And it is here that what rolls from the production line is also tested to ensure a consistent finish, whilst compounds with bespoke features and dimensions can be fabricated for specific clients.

One of VIP Seal’s strengths is that it works hard to conform to the various water approval schemes around Europe, including the UK’s Water Regulating Approval Scheme (WRAS) initiative and Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) approval. What that demands is a continuous regime of testing, carried out on both the natural and synthetic rubber compounds it produces, as well as the finished products.

The VIPSeal production facility, meanwhile, is an extensive industrial environment that covers an area of more than six football pitches. Over 60 tonnes of rubber are consumed every week and what emerges is a product range that extends to up to 10,000 individual variations.

An 80-strong workforce manufactures gaskets for pipes of practically any material or dimension — from 40mm to 2.4metres — with the larger diameters made to order for what is typically a next day delivery. That’s a service and output that is maintained by considerable investment, with the recent addition of three of the latest and most advanced injection moulding missions totalling £1.8m alone.

PBM visits VIP Polymers to chart the manufacturer’s considerable heritage and describe its extensive current range.

VIPSeal Standard Coupling (VSC)
Ease of installation is said to be uppermost in the development process of all of VIPSeals’ solutions, and its couplings are a case in point. Designed for the joining and repairing of low pressure and non-pressure pipes, VIPSeal Standard Couplings (VSCs) can withstand up to 2.5 bar. A robust EPDM rubber and stainless-steel construction is complemented by a flexibility in application, with a range that will fit on pipes from 50mm – 620mm.

Fitting is said to be a very straightforward process. Firstly, it’s simply a matter of cutting and removing the section of damaged pipe. To ensure even coverage of the seal across the joints, it’s then necessary to measure the width of the coupling and mark half a coupling width on each pipe and the repair section.

Next, installers loosen the tension and shear band and slide the couplings fully onto each section of the existing pipe. The new section of pipe is then positioned, and the coupling centred over the repair joint using the marks previously made.

Once in place, the tension bands are to be tightened followed by the shear band on each joint. When all worm drive bolts have been checked with a torque wrench and tightened to the recommended torque — which is displayed on the labelling of each coupling — users will be left with a completely watertight repair.

VIPSeal Plumb
The VIPSeal Plumb Plumbing Range is described as similarly installer friendly. Indeed, all that’s typically needed to make use of this multipurpose range of couplers, adaptors, elbows, tees, and end caps is a torque wrench, screwdriver, nut driver or socket. If your customers find themselves in a tight spot — under a basin, sink, bath, for example — these products will equally be their friend.

Designed for connecting pipes of any materials with differing outside diameters, VIPSeal Plumb has flexibility as its guiding principle. The EPDM units will connect plain ended pipes of the same or different diameters and, in common with the aforementioned VSC solution, damaged pipework can be repaired by using short sections of pipe together with the VIPSeal Plumb EPDM fittings — with a watertight seal the result.

Click the following link for more information on the VIP Polymers product range and its support services for merchants:

PBM visits VIP Polymers to chart the manufacturer’s considerable heritage and describe its extensive current range.
VIP Polymers celebrated its centenary in 2023.

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